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12 April 2021

King's start-ups recognised for entrepreneurial resilience and recovery

Entrepreneurship Institute

This year's David Walsh Awards recognised the resilience of our King's entrepreneurs.


In light of the global pandemic, the Entrepreneurship Institute’s grant programme, the David Walsh Awards 2021 was designed to champion and celebrate the demonstration of entrepreneurial resilience by the King’s20 Accelerator cohort. As part of their applications, we asked the ventures to tell us about how they have shown entrepreneurial resilience and recovery, bouncing back from challenges and learning a whole lot of lessons along the way.

The Awards are made possible due to the generosity of David Walsh, a highly successful and experienced CEO in the tech sector and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Entrepreneurship Institute. He began his career at IBM and went on to found Crimsonwing, an international software and services business that was acquired by KPMG in 2015. As Entrepreneur-in-Residence, David helps advise and mentor the 20 selected start-ups on the King’s20 Accelerator programme. In 2020, David was presented the Helen Hudson Award as part of the King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards for his exemplary contribution to the university.

Together with the leadership team of the Entrepreneurship Institute we decided to theme the David Walsh Awards this year on resilience and recovery, and with a context as always on sound business propositions and progress. The openness of the founders and their challenges gave their submissions extra emotional punch – and it was incredible to see just how much they had accomplished not just in their new businesses but also in helping their colleagues and communities. Inspirational.

David Walsh, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

This year’s awards saw a total of £25,000 awarded to seven of the King’s20 ventures to empower them to create a positive impact and fuel their businesses.

And the winners are…

  • Grandnanny – after a series of lockdown pivots related to restrictions and childcare, Grandnanny have demonstrated great focus and adaptability - the grant will help support the extended build of their website, staffing infrastructure, and launching into a new postcode
  • Verdn - after a year of refining their sustainability-as-a-service product, the grant will enable the duo to focus their energy and expand their client base.
  • Banana Scoops – after rapidly pivoting to a digital sales strategy and building a strong online community, BananaScoops have used this opportunity to conduct in-depth customer research and make a renewed focus on product development
  • SoJo – after their much anticipated launch was delayed by lockdown restrictions and many seamsters closing their doors, Sojo has bounced back and start tto grow a team to support their success
  • Malebox - Lockdown 'successfully' forced Malebox to rapidly pivot their focus on product and on more than one occasion responding to external circumstance, financial constraints and regulatory timescales – the grant will allow them to undertake a comparable lab study to aid their product development.
  • ZauberMusic – lockdown saw their business model pivot from B2B to B2C, with a focus on creating content – the grant will support in developing their product and develop higher quality content for user experience
  • Advicely – in a year where many of their potential clients have faced lockdown, the grant would help support marketing and sales as they move towards launching their MVP